This was not so in the Regency era in England. A predominant sound on the air of Regency London was that of the bell.
If one was in a house, the ring of church bells still penetrated. If one considers how many church bells existed in the confines of the City and its districts like Mayfair, the din must have been continuous. In addition the servants heard, near incessantly, the call of the mechanical bell system, first advertised in 1744. There might also be a silver tea bell in the drawing room, or an invalid's bell beside a bed above stairs.
There were also harness bells, like the 'beautiful sets of four or five that were put on the leading horse of a team, and were known as team bells'. There were warning bells on fire engines, and bells on the animals who trailed through the city to the markets. And there was the bellman or town crier, who plied his trade from the earliest days through to the Georgian era. He marked the hours with his bell and heralded his reading of proclamations, warnings, and news bulletins with it.
On the street the church bells could be deafening, depending on the size of bell. Their sound routinely carried three miles, and in good weather large bells could be heard for nine miles. They marked the hours, pealed for a wedding, beat out a death knell. There were Passing Bells, Sanctus Bells, and Alarm Bells and peals of bells to announce the new year..
The materials used in bells' manufacture varied. Iron and bronze predominated but silver was not unknown and even wood might be used for animal bells.
From an old sampler comes a rhyme about bell messages:
"When we lament a departed soul, WE TOLL.
When joy and mirth are on the wing, WE SING.
To call the fold to church in time, WE CHIME.
When threatened harm, WE ALARM."
It could be a noisy place, the Regency world. But it was easier, I think, to find quiet there than it is in our current age. Seek out the quiet, if you will, but also enjoy whatever bells you can hear.
'Til next time,